January 03, 2007

A new yardstick for ECT Research

Firstly I must offer my apologies for not having written anything in this blog recently to keep you abreast of developments in the area of Extremely Clever research. I know how interested you all are in this important field of academic work – this has (inevitably) been due to circumstances beyond my control. You will recall the MkIV Electrotinklertron that was showing such promise when I last wrote? Well it proved to be surprisingly (and quite unexpectedly) successful at distorting the very fabric of space-time, projecting myself, my incontinent research assistant Alphonse and our Breville toasty-maker some six years into the future. To cut a long story short it is nice to be back. I have seen things that mankind today can only dream of, not least some particularly novel toasty fillings: on a more practical note I strongly urge the good citizens of East London not to get too excited about the 2012 Paris Olympics. Trust me.
Anyway, I would now like to explain an exciting new development in progress at the Dept. of ECT.
I have been intrigued by reports in the press about the plans for the new “Freedom Tower” to be built on the Ground Zero site in New York. Our American cousins seem to be very smug about the design aspiring to a height of 1,776ft – thus commemorating the date of US independence from Britain.
I propose that we inaugurate a similar memorial at Warwick, perhaps substituting the date 1965 and an existing decorative feature such as (for instance) the “Clinton Tree” outside the old Senate (now Coventry) House. I thought that the bean-counters would particularly approve of such a sustainable/recyclable approach to our existing landscape assets.
My proposal is simple and yet (as you may anticipate) extremely clever.
It occurs to me that where the Yanks are missing the point is that their approach requires considerable expense, in the design and building of a bespoke building. My concept allows us to choose a suitable, pre-existing monument and any commemorative date we care to. We then achieve perfect commemorative symbiosis between the two, simple by inaugurating a novel unit of measurement. I have, naturally, carried out some initial research and am in a position to suggest a suitable candidate unit, provisionally termed the Bambleweeny (or perhaps in abbreviated form, the Bamby). This may be best illustrated by example:
Let us consider a feature (e.g. a tree) of height determined to be 10m and a specific commemorative date, say 1965. We then simply follow the definition:
10m/1965 = 1 Bamby (Eq 1.)
Repeated trials have confirmed that such a tree measures, to the limits of modern science’s ability to determine, exactly 1,965Bambys in height. Remarkable. But the best is yet to come! I have anticipated that this proposal will meet with criticism from those cheese-eating Euro-monkeys as not meeting the Systeme Internationale (SI) convention of precise definition as shown, for instance, by their metre. For instance:
1 metre = the length of a path travelled by light in a vacuum during a time interval equivalent to 1/299,792,458 times the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the Caesium-133 atom.
(Personally I don’t think this is particularly big or clever).
As usual, ECT science remains one step ahead. By clever manipulation of the above and Eq.1 we can arrive at the generic Bambleweeny definition:
(Currently perceived height measured in metres) x (all that twaddle above about vacuums and Caesium-133) / (The date you first thought of) = 1 Bamby. (Eq 2)
You will be fascinated to realise that this renders the new unit entirely organic, that is to say, if the nominated structure changes in height (e.g. the tree grows a bit) then the Bambleweeny unit automatically compensates and thus does not spoil the commemorative aesthetic of the feature.
Here in the department we have already switched to using the new unit with partial success. Our coffee room’s weekly order for sugar resulted in the delivery of in excess of 187 tonnes of white granulated, which is proving a bit of a bugger for the ECT Dept. Stores. On the other hand, our senior finance administrator has admitted that finally the SAPS system seems to be working.
I look forward to any comments and invite applications for a limited IPR for one-time application of the new measurement, Pat. Pending.
Best Regards,
Edwin M. Bambleweeny (Prof.)

P.S. This work has been carried out without any assistance from the EU funding council. Bastards.

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Graeme Knowles

    I wonder if the Professor could comment upon a recent chance discovery in the Department of Malingering and Admistrative Affairs. It appears that there may be an equivalent of the Bamby which occurs in a chaotic, or perhaps self-organising form. Allow me to elaborate with an example:

    A department has, say 250 students in a particular year and x members of teaching staff. The ideal staff student ratio is defined by administration as , say, 25 Bambies. So at this point the Bamby = 250/25x.
    The following year the number of students goes up to, say 500. Administration is able to use the Bamby transformation to keep the ratio as 25 Bambys, hence ensuring that educational quality does not deteriorate (clearly in this case the bamby transformation is 1B =500/25x)

    This ingenious self-organising Bamboozle (I believe the correct term for manipulation of Bambys in this way) is in this case uni-directional; When, at some point in the future the number of students reverts back to the original level (250), the Bamby retains it’s value at (500/25x) thus generating a redundancy of 50% in the staff.

    A curious subset of this chaotic logic is found in the number of administrative staff where a uni-directional Bamboozle operates in a contrary fashion. i.e when the number of students increases the Bamby holds it’s fixed value necessitating a 50% increase in staff ( due to the massive increase in admin load) whilst when the student numbers drop the Bamboozle comes into play ensuring that there is no need to lose staff -after all, when things are tight you need administrators to ensure nobody else is wasting money.

    Your thoughts on this phenomenon would be much appreciated.

    Note: This muse was brought to you without the aid of Kingfisher.

    05 Apr 2007, 13:30

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